Prince Harry will attend the opening of The Royal British Legion Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance on Tuesday 9 November 2010, the first Field of Remembrance dedicated to those who have been killed in Afghanistan.
Up to 35,000 crosses will be planted within the grounds of Lydiard Park, near to the town of Wootton Bassett, each with a personal message from members of the public in order to commemorate the 342 men and women killed in Afghanistan since the conflict began in 2001.
The Prince will plant a Remembrance Cross in the Field and take part in a Two Minute Silence ceremony. He will also meet Service personnel taking part in The Royal British Legion March For Honour, and set them off on their march to London. Finally, Prince Harry will meet local schoolchildren before joining a private reception.
The Royal British Legion’s National President, Sir John Kiszely KCB MC will also dedicate a cross, along with the Legion’s Repatriation Officer, Anne Bevis, L/Cpl Ram Patten who is leading the March For Honour and Amanda Binnie, whose husband Sean Binnie was killed in Afghanistan in 2008. Civic dignitaries have also been invited to dedicate and plant crosses, as well as representatives of the British Armed Forces.
“The Field of Remembrance is an important part of the Legion’s Remembrance calendar of events. We encourage the nation to dedicate personal messages to those who sadly haven’t returned home. We are extremely honoured to have Prince Harry dedicate his own cross and take part in the ceremony,” said Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, National President of The Royal British Legion.
Anne Bevis, Repatriation Officer for The Royal British Legion said: “It will mean a lot to the people of Wootton Bassett and Wiltshire to know that there is a Field of Remembrance solely dedicated to those men and women in the British Armed Forces who have lost their lives in Afghanistan. This is the first of its kind, and we’re very proud.”
Amanda Binnie’s husband, 22 year-old Cpl Sean Binnie of the Black Watch 3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland was killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in May 2008. She will be dedicating a cross to Sean at the Field.